on the shores of Peconic Bay in eastern Long Island, Sebonack Golf Club serves
as the host for the 68th U.S. Women’s Open Championship. Four holes (9, 11, 12
and 18) border this body of water, which could play a significant part in
determining the champion this week.
A bay falls
under the definition of a Water
Hazard. In the case of this particular water hazard, which is located
parallel to these holes, the Committee has defined the bay as a Lateral
water hazard margin on these holes is defined by red stakes only, although a
small portion of the hazard on No. 18 is defined by a line. This method of
marking is atypical at a USGA championship, as the margin is normally identified
by stakes and defined by a line – see Definition of Water
Hazard. However, due to the nature of the topography near these holes, the
Committee chose to mark the hazard in this fashion under Rule 33-2.
There are a
few ways a Committee may choose to mark water hazards on the golf course:
stakes only, lines only or a combination of stakes and lines. When defined by
stakes, the hazard margin is defined by the nearest outside points at ground
level, as is the case at Sebonack. When a line defines the margin, the line is
in the hazard. When stakes and lines are used to indicate a water hazard, the stakes
identify and the line defines the margin. It’s important to note that a ball is
in the water hazard when it lies in or any part touches the water hazard
margin. This information can be found in the definitions of Water
Hazard and Lateral
it is known or virtually certain that the player’s ball came to rest in a water
hazard or lateral water hazard, Rule 26-1
The USGA will provide up to two Rules of Golf books for
minimal shipping and handling charge. Please contact the USGA Order Department
at 1-800-336-4446, Monday
through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) or go to the USGA Shop on usga.org.
Rob Ockenfuss is Manager, Rules
Inquiries for the USGA.